[UPDATED with Victim I.D.:] John Berry, OC Homicide No. 2: Itzcoatl Ocampo Held in Fatal Stabbings of Homeless
UPDATE, JAN. 16, 8:53 A.M.: The homeless man fatally stabbed behind an Anaheim Carl's Jr. Friday night has been identified by friends as 64-year-old John Berry. He's been described as a spiritual man who was so beloved by neighbors and patrons of businesses near where he was murdered at La Palma Avenue and Imperial Highway that a large memorial to him continues to grow there.
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 14, 11:33 A.M.: Two people who had been at the busy restaurant chased John's presumed killer, and they were joined by a security guard and some of the more than 100 police officers who descended on the murder scene.
The man in a red hoodie tried to hop a fence near the Friendly Village Mobile Home Park, which is where the security guard pulled him down and held him about a quarter mile from the Carl's Jr. until officers caught up with him.
Within minutes, the suspect was surrounded by cops who sat him down on the La Palma Avenue curb. A police helicopter above shined a bright light on his expressionless face. He nonchalantly crossed his arms as if no big whoop.
Police make an arrest.
KABC 7 Eyewitness News
He was later identified at a hastily arranged press conference late last night as Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, of Yorba Linda. He was booked on suspicion of murder and held in the Anaheim city jail without bail.
Ocampo's build and dark clothing, and the fatal stabbing of John, fits the description and m.o. of the killer who fatally stabbed James McGillivray Dec. 20 in nearby Placentia. Two other homeless men, Lloyd Middaugh and Paulus Cornelius Smit, were subsequently stabbed to death in Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda.
One big difference between the previous slayings and last night's is there were a lot of people around the Carl's Jr. murder scene at the time. The other men were alone and isolated when they were done in. The task force probing the slayings has a press conference scheduled this afternoon that will hopefully fill in some of the blanks.
People who knew John described him as friendly.
"He was just like the kindest person ever," Chris Juarez told KABC 7 Eyewitness News. "A homeless man that never asked for anything, never begged. He stuck to his own thing. He was perfectly happy."
Another area resident, Jim Burke, told CBS2 that John eerily told him a couple days ago that the serial killer was following him Wednesday.
"John said that he kept the bike between him and this man as his line of defense and he got a good look at him," said Burke, who passed the information on to a nearby Department of Water and Power with instructions to contact police.
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